On a beautiful and clear spring day in 1820 a young boy by the name of Joseph Smith knelt down in a grove of trees to ask God a question.
Before he could even speak “thick darkness gathered around” him and a great power constrained him from speaking. So awful was this power that Joseph felt as if he was “doomed to sudden destruction.” (JSH 1: 15)
In this moment of great alarm Joseph exerted all his powers to call out to God to deliver him from the forces of the actual power of the adversary attempting to destroy him.
It was then that God, The Eternal Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph and delivered him from the enemy which he had fought against.
After a remarkable encounter with God and Jesus Christ Joseph went home and later recorded these words,
“It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?” (JSH 1:20)
My dear sisters, I write this because of two things.
Satan is real and he knows us from the premortal existence. He remembers us and even recognizes us. Therefore he seeks to destroy the strong spirits who have the power to be an example and a light in the world.
In his 2011 address We are all Enlisted, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said,
“He [Satan] is eternally opposed to the love of God, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the work of peace and salvation. He will fight against these whenever and wherever he can. He knows he will be defeated and cast out in the end, but he is determined to take down with him as many others as he possibly can.”
Mission call or not, if you follow Jesus Christ you’re on Satan’s hit list and I speak from experience.
From the moment I put in my mission papers I have been able to discern a darkness in my life. The adversary desperately wants to keep me from serving a mission and I know it.
I know he would keep every potential missionary home if he could. Now I’m not saying if you chose to withdraw your papers, had to come home, or chose to not serve a mission you’re listening to the adversary.
Not all of us are supposed to serve formal 18 month missions, and medical issues are 100% valid reasons for returning home.
The point is we all have a mission to serve, wherever it may be, and the adversary absolutely doesn’t want you to do it.
In the same talk Elder Holland says,
“Missionary work isn’t the only thing we need to do in this big, wide, wonderful Church. But almost everything else we need to do depends on people first hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ and coming into the faith.”
The other reason I recounted Joseph Smith’s experience is this-The Savior will never let you fight your battles alone IF you ask for His help.
My life has been a constant vertical climb since I put my papers in and received my mission call. I’ve had to rely on my core testimony and faith in Jesus Christ.
I have received many priesthood blessings and spent hours on my knees and pouring over the scriptures.
Throughout it all I have relied on this call from Our Savior,
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30)
The Savior has done this for me Sisters. He has made the fight against the adversary easier, lightened my burdens, and strengthened my faith.
Like He did for Joseph smith, The Savior will deliver you from the grip the adversary.
It’s not going to be easy, but who said it would be? It will be worth it though.
So my dear Sisters. If you’re in the process of going on a mission and things are getting rough, turn to your Savior.
If you’re trying to live a life full of good works and things are getting rough, turn to your Savior.
He’s calling your name
He’s waiting for you.
With arms open wide
Come unto Christ.